Considering the geographic expanse from Asia to the Middle East, this lecture series examines the exchange and flow of capital, oil, and natural gas between India and China on one hand, and the Middle East as represented by the Arab gulf and Iran on the other. Speakers address how tensions in Pakistan and Afghanistan, peace-making efforts from Turkey, and the Arab-Israeli conflict influence diplomacy in this huge area of the world where great wealth and greater conflict coincide.
In this lecture, political scientist Minxin Pei asks whether China is outcompeting the United States.
Minxin Pei is a senior associate and director of the China program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. An expert on China, Taiwan, East Asia, and democracy, he has written many articles on economic growth and political reform in China, and he also taught politics at Princeton University. His main research interests are U.S.-China relations, the development of democratic political systems, and Chinese politics.
He is the author of From Reform to Revolution: The Demise of Communism in China and the Soviet Union and China's Trapped Transition: The Limits of Developmental Autocracy. His research has been published in many journals and books, and his commentary appears in many major newspapers.
Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.Country, eastern Asia. Area: 3,696,100 sq mi (9,572,900 sq km). Population (2009 est.): 1,331,433,000. Capital: Beijing. It is the world's most populous country, the Han (ethnic Chinese) forming more than nine-tenths of the population. Languages: dialects of Han Chinese, Mandarin being the most important. Religions: traditional beliefs, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Daoism (all legally sanctioned). Currency: renminbi (of which the unit is the yuan). China has several topographic regions. The southwestern area contains the Plateau of Tibet, which averages more than 13,000 ft (4,000 m) above sea level; its core area, averaging more than 16,000 ft (5,000 m) in elevation, is called the Roof of the World and provides the headwaters for many of Asia's major rivers. Higher yet are the border ranges, the Kunlun Mountains to the north and the Himalayas to the south. China's northwestern region stretches from Afghanistan to the Northeast (Manchurian) Plain. The Tien Shan (Celestial Mountains) separate China's two major interior basins, the Tarim Basin (containing the Takla Makan Desert) and the Junggar Basin. The Mongolian Plateau contains the southernmost part of the Gobi Desert. The lowlands of the eastern region include the Sichuan Basin, which runs along the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang); the Yangtze divides the eastern region into northern and southern parts. The Tarim is the major river in the northwest. China's numerous other rivers include the Huang He (Yellow River), Xi, Sungari (Songhua), Zhu (Pearl), and Lancang, which becomes the Mekong in Southeast Asia. The country is a single-party people's republic with one legislative house. The head of state is the president, and the head of government is the premier.
I don't actually find his analysis to be reflective of china's condition, his answers appears to be one crafted for the american audience. there is alot of parroting in the media that the government has a pact with the people for economic growth, i don't really believe so, for the people i spoke to has never believe or is interested in national GDP, while they may like it, it not their main concern by a long shot.
just think about it, US GDP has been rising in 2010 too, does the american people actually care? what american want is jobs and US politician were able to deflect blame to china and get away with their own ineffectiveness; so would the same not be true for China? China politician can equally play the blame game and get away.
the problem is thus not that straight forward.
@Balthazar: As far as China rising as a global power, U.S. citizens should prepare for this change by learning more about China's culture, business culture, and political culture. Our education system would be smart, if use this opportunity to teach our students about historical and modern China and its global influence...the complexities within its political and economic systems as well. This knowledge will be very valuable and can increase career success of someone entering in the 21st century job market that is heavily globalized and will keep becoming more global. With any great rise of a world economy comes great responsibility. If China desires to keep rising and become a long lasting world power, then it will have to go through a major cultural change. This change means altering its current government identity. The government will have to become more open. China may surprise us and may evolve its political structure to become more open and able to handle its new economic power.
As an African American, responding to your comments on America's capitalistic culture and history; I do believe that a major part of America's economy was built on the backs of slaves. I do, however, take issue with your comments because it seems that you do not understand that every nation will have major social issues to deal with and will deal with its own set of injustices. That is reality. America, however, has a robust history of attracting immigrants from all over the world who risk life and limb to enjoy our freedoms and to have a better lifestyle and economic opportunity. So, even though your opinion of America is extremely negative, the number of immigrants who come here and have built lives here tell a different story..or they wouldn't have come..and we would not still experience massive immigration to this country.
Another thing that you don't seem to understand is that as long as human beings run a government, a corporation, or nation..you will have the "have's and the have not's because human beings are flawed by nature..and you will always have some who are motivated by greed to favor a certain group of people over another. In America, however, we have a tendency to make changes and evolve from a state of injustice to improving conditions for those who were oppressed...we have seen progression from the Civil Rights Movement, Women's Rights, and current issues and activism for the rights of others regardless of sexual orientation or immigration status. America is known around the world for it major civil rights movements for many minority groups in race, gender, and sexual orientation. Plus, as an African American, I can plainly see that even with all of our issues with injustice, including racial injustice, we still elected an African American President who still has a decent approval rating compared to past presidents,....AND people of black descent in this country have more success here than most any nation in the world...due partially to the American Civil Rights activism and Americans who want to live up to the American ideal of equality. We do have a lot of problems in the U.S. due to prejudice against class, race, and gender...but we have a lot to be proud of that no country can match.
In response to your concern regarding injustice and poverty, my suggestion is for you to do something about it..don't just speak negative comments about the U.S. or China...make the changes yourself. If you don't like what is going on in this world then start a non profit, raise money, work with other non profits...contact your local government. America may not be the perfect democracy, but it is one of the best if not the best we have, or we would not have had the historical successes of fighting and achieving rights for the citizens here...and we certainly would not have so many Americans who join the Peace Corp and other major government-linked or independent organizations that help poverty-stricken communities all over the world and help those need a "voice".
@Govindan Nair wonders about, "... the contemporary nature of the "Chinese Communist Party" (quotes are intentional) and the dynamics of its continued legitimacy."
Forget legitimacy, is the "contemporary nature" of the "Chinese Communist Party" anything like the contemporary nature of the capitalist oligarchy of America which, under the guise of vaunted democracy, has legislated poverty for tens of millions of working Americans?
How can a DEMOCRACY legislate poverty? When it is not a democracy, that's how. After all, at America's inception the right to vote was limited to while males who owned property and slavery was a basic part of capitalism's "success" (quotes are intentional). America has never been a democracy.
"What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?" - Gandhi.
Prof. Pei is an entertaining and empathetic speaker. In many ways, the presentation lays out what is becoming a familiar catalogue and litany of the limits to the current model of China’s economic growth and the facile prognosis of China's imminent ascent to premier superpower ascendancy in coming decades. This being said, the presentation is in at least three ways a very useful contribution to a badly needed discussion of the real nature and implications of China's future economic and political development. First is his dismissal of the simplistic economic determinism from plain extrapolation of China's economic growth results over the last 30 years which the speaker brought out effectively. The speaker identifies key environmental, demographic, and other potential impediments to sustaining this previous model of economic growth. Second, the speaker has provided useful insights into the contemporary nature of the "Chinese Communist Party" (quotes are intentional) and the dynamics of its continued legitimacy. Prof. Pei's comparison of potential collapse of the CCP with the end of Indonesia' Suharto regime is intriguing. As is his argument that success of Indonesia's post-Suharto political stability augurs well for a similar aftermath to the CCP. He compares the historical "problem solving" reputation of the USA to what he sees as a pragmatic attitude within the current CCP leadership. Third, Prof. Pei provides an interesting, if arguably optimistic, perspective on the future US-China relationship which is unquestionably the most important bilateral relationship in the 21st century.
I would be interested in hearing other observations on this presentation and the overall topic which, in Prof. Pei's own words, remains "uncertain and interesting".
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